Form 1023 Paperwork, In Millions of Hours, 1986 to 2016

Source: U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Click image to learn more.

​​​​​​​​​​​​Real Help With Your 501(c)(3) Application

Getting Phone Help from the IRS

NOTE: The phone help described below has been temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus.

The IRS toll free phone number for general help with Exempt Organizations matters is 1-877-829-5500.  Their hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Eastern).

this page of, the IRS urges organizations that have submitted an exemption application to wait before calling to check on the status of the application.  They suggest waiting 90 days before inquiring about Form 1023-EZ, or 180 days (six months!) for Form 1023!

In fiscal year 2014, callers to the Exempt Organizations toll-free line waited an average of 18.7 minutes to speak to an IRS representative, and the number of 'courtesy disconnects' for the Exempt Organizations phone line was 4,380.

In fiscal year 2015, Exempt Organizations callers waited an average of 23.7 minutes, an increase of about five minutes per call, and  and the number of IRS 'courtesy disconnects' increased to 23,871,

a 445 percent jump…[emphasis added]

"As the IRS is expected to experience continued budget and hiring constraints...telephone hold times and courtesy disconnects will likely continue to increase…"

National Taxpayer Advocate 2015 Annual Report to Congress: Most Serious Problem #21
Statistics and quote appear on page 232 of the pdf.

In its 2017 Annual Report to Congress, the National Taxpayer Advocate's office estimated that In fiscal year 2018, only four out of ten taxpayers calling for help would reach a live assistor.